chouse

1 of 2

verb (1)

choused; chousing

chouse

2 of 2

verb (2)

choused; chousing

transitive verb

Western US
: to drive or herd roughly

Did you know?

"You shall chouse him of Horses, Cloaths, and Mony," wrote John Dryden in his 1663 play Wild Gallant. Dryden was one of the first English writers to use chouse, but he wasn't the last. That term—which may derive from a Turkish word, çavuş, meaning "doorkeeper" or "messenger"—has a rich literary past, appearing in works by Samuel Pepys, Henry Fielding, Sir Walter Scott, and Charles Dickens, among others, but its use dropped off in the 20th century. In fact, English speakers of today may be more familiar with another chouse, a verb used in the American West to mean "to drive or herd roughly." In spite of their identical spellings, the two chouse homographs are not related (and the origin of the latter is unknown).

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

perhaps from Turkish çavuş doorkeeper, messenger

Verb (2)

origin unknown

First Known Use

Verb (1)

circa 1659, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chouse was circa 1659

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Dictionary Entries Near chouse

Cite this Entry

“Chouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chouse. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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